Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Graduate: Imogen


Name: Imogen

Age: 21

Where did you go to university, and what did you study?
I went to UWE (the University of West England), and I studied English Literature.

Why did you decide that going to university was the right option for you?
I think my decision to go to uni was informed by a few different things. One obvious reason was that I loved, and continue to love, books. I love reading them, I love talking about them, I like trying to work out what they mean. Love them. Another reason was that I totally wasn’t ready to go into the real world! I couldn’t have gone into a 9-5 job when I was 18; I didn’t really know who I was or what I was about, and (naff as it sounds) uni really helped me to work that out. Coming to Bristol was the best thing I’ve ever done - it got me a degree, a boyfriend, a social life and it’s a city with more culture than you can shake a stick at. I love it here and I can’t see myself leaving any time soon.

What are you doing now?
Now I’m half way through a digital marketing internship. It’s taught me a lot and it’s definitely something I’m going to stick at, at least for a little while. It was all a bit of whirlwind really; I finished my exams in May and then the day before my graduation in July, I had an interview for the internship!

What's helped you get to where you are today?
 To be honest, I think it’s sheer luck! I will admit that for the longest time I was not the most determined or motivated person in the world. I’ve always done well, but it feels like if I’d pushed myself that little but harder, I could have done really well. But, when I came towards the end of my degree it was like “Shit. I actually have be a grown up now”. So I just applied for every internship in sight that was even mildly related to my course - journalism, editing, publishing, marketing, the lot! It just so happened that the marketing one came through and it’s been great! That’s not to say it’s my forever career, but for now I’m enjoying it.

Do you think that your degree has any practical application to your current job?
Absolutely. I write a lot of content for websites, and a degree in literature has obviously helped me to refine my writing. There's also quite a lot of analytic work involved, both numeric and in terms of assessing target audiences. It might not sound directly related, but I had to analyse books down to the gaps between words, so I like to think that helped. 

What are your plans, if any, for the future?
Just to stay happy and busy; I don't ever want to be that person that hates their job. I'll just keep on following my nose and having a good time. I like to think that one day, maybe soon, maybe not, I'll go back to academia and do a Masters. My boyfriend is doing one now, and I'm a little bit jealous that he gets to hang out in beautiful building reading James Joyce and T.S. Eliot. I love all that. 

What are your top tips for current students and soon-to-be graduates?
Just do what you love. If you ever find yourself not loving what you're doing, or not knowing why you're doing it, just take a moment to step back and reassess. It's never too late to change paths, just be confident in what you do and make yourself happy. That's what's important. Oh, and don't throw your mortar board at graduation - there will be blood. 

Imogen, the literature graduate.
Digital marketer. 
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